Customization: Part I – Free from the OVI Store


Nokia’s OVI Store provides numerous applications allowing the average N8 owner to customize their smartphone in order to enrich or simplify their lifestyles. For example, a small torch becomes extremely handy in the dark when trying to guide a key into a lock, or moving about the bedroom without disturbing your partner. The solution is to download and install QTorch which adjusts the N8’s touch screen to full brightness and completely white. The screen now emits enough light to complete any task in full darkness. Simple, yet very handy!

OVI Store provides access to many other free applications for the N8. I have installed and categorized the following free applications:

MUST HAVE:

  • Swype – a QWERTY keyboard in landscape orientation providing a faster and easier way to input text on any screen. With one continuous finger motion across the keyboard, a word is spelled out. Lifting your finger inserts a space in between the next word. Tip: Once installed, disable the predictive text option.
  • Opera Mobile 10.1 – a web browser which is significantly faster and smoother than the N8’s default (or native) browser. Tip: Once installed, disable the Opera keyboard (under Settings : Advanced) and use the SWYPE keyboard instead.
  • Sports Tracker – turns your smartphone into a sports computer. Uses the GPS to track and record your route, speed and altitude. Uses Bluetooth to monitor your heart rate with a Polar Wearlink+ transmitter.
  • Music Stopper –  allows you to stop the default music player, radio player or any other application on your device automatically after a certain time. Useful if you like to fall asleep listening to music.
  • SMS Preview – automatically shows a received SMS from 5 to 60 seconds. Saves time and effort to navigate to your message folder.
  • WordPress – add new posts and pages, edit existing content on your blog, manage comments, check stats and more (for more information, go to nokia.wordpress.org).

CHECK OUT:

  • Nokia Photo Browser – an alternative photo viewer developed by Nokia Beta Labs designed with “Kinetic Scrolling” in mind. Tip: Once installed, double tap to enlarge the photo (does not yet support “Pinch and Zoom”).
  • Converter Touch – Converter from one unit to another for length, area, volume, pressure, weight, temperature, times, speed, power and energy. Note: Once running, the application may download and display small adverts.
  • Fring – uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to make video calls, voice calls and live chat with your Fring buddies and to other friends on popular social networks (Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, Twitter & SIP). Note: you may prefer to use Skype.
  • Data Monitor Free – monitors the amount of data sent and received via GPRS (3G) and WiFi (WLAN) connections. Cannot position the ticker, set the notification threshold (default is 2 Mb), change colours or autostart the application. Premium version available here.

MAY BE USEFUL:

  • Level Touch – uses the device’s built-in accelerometer to provide a builder’s level with both horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) bubble tubes. Note: Once running, the application may download and display small adverts.
  • Angle Meter Touch – uses the device’s built-in accelerometer to measure angles. Tip: Use the reset button to set the zero degree reference point. Note: Once running, the application may download and display small adverts.
  • Touch Timer – Stop watch with unlimited scrollable lap times. A button for start/stop and another for lap times. Note: Once running, the application may download and display small adverts.
  • UpCode – uses the device’s camera to scan various supported bar codes. Used to obtain links to videos, websites, music and other content which can then be downloaded to your phone.
  • Memory Status Touch – displays the amount of used and free storage space for your device ’s memory (256 Mb), internal mass storage (16 Gb) and external microSD card (0 – 32 Gb).

GIMMICK:

  • Sticky Notes Touch – lets you create and organize hand-written sticky notes.
  • LeCountDown – Simple countdown timer that is easy to set. Pity that different countdown times cannot be stored.
  • Crayons Touch – Draw on your phone with different coloured crayons. Click a button a store the image in your Images folder. Pity there is no button to clear the image and start again (must exit and restart the application.

DO NOT INSTALL:

I do not recommend the following applications simply because they don’t work as intended (buggy or not yet compatible with the N8):

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One Response to Customization: Part I – Free from the OVI Store

  1. n8fan says:

    UPDATE: Shazam for the Nokia N8 is now available for download from the OVI Store.

    Check out http://store.ovi.com/content/67101

    The application was developed using Qt. The install file is called ShazamQt_251.sis

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